Monday, November 7, 2011

Life or Dread!

I waited patiently for the LORD;
And He inclined to me and heard my cry.
He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay,
And He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm.
He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God;
Many will see and fear
And will trust in the LORD. 

Do you really trust the Lord?  Why do we worry so much.  Surely, worry and trust are distant places!  Maybe it is because we have never "waited patiently for the Lord".  Our tendency is to see the problem and figure out how to deal with it.  The psalm writer had one distinct advantage toward the end of waiting on the Lord.  He was evidently in over his head.  The "pit of destruction" must be pretty deep.

A point worth considering is, how did he get into that pit?  Just perhaps the psalmist is much like us in that we leave God until the last choice.  Maybe the pit wouldn't have been quite so deep had he turned to God earlier?  Let's see what else he had to say:

 How blessed is the man who has made the LORD his trust,
And has not turned to the proud, nor to those who lapse into falsehood. 

Evidently the writer discovered the emptiness in seeking counsel from the wrong places.  The proud, the brash, the self-confident appear to be people with answers.  Actually, "puffery" is not a very good recommendation at all. 

Many, O LORD my God, are the wonders which You have done,
And Your thoughts toward us;
There is none to compare with You.
If I would declare and speak of them,
They would be too numerous to count. 

Without a doubt one of our biggest problems is our ability to understand our God's attention toward us.  He is never burdened by the things that weigh upon our minds!  His track record is 100% yet we are slow to turn to Him when stress and worry beging to move in.

Sacrifice and meal offering You have not desired;
My ears You have opened;
Burnt offering and sin offering You have not required.
Then I said, “Behold, I come;
In the scroll of the book it is written of me.
I delight to do Your will, O my God;
Your Law is within my heart.”

O LORD, You know.
I have not hidden Your righteousness within my heart; 

Here is an opportunity to analyze the problem here.  Did you notice what was lying within his heart?  "Your law is within my heart" is his statement.  There is much that I could say here about the purpose of the law but that is for another time.  What we need to see here is that the psalmist discovered was not within his heart: "I have not hidden Your righteousness within my heart".

Invest some time in the eighth chapter of the book of Romans if you would like to know more about what the law versus the freedom of the gift of righteousness brings.

I have spoken of Your faithfulness and Your salvation;
I have not concealed Your lovingkindness and Your truth from the great congregation.

You, O LORD, will not withhold Your compassion from me;
Your lovingkindness and Your truth will continually preserve me.
For evils beyond number have surrounded me;
My iniquities have overtaken me, so that I am not able to see;
They are more numerous than the hairs of my head,
And my heart has failed me. 

Continually, since the psalmist doesn't know the freedom of righteousness, he is brought back to his iniquities and gets lost in the troubles to the point of weariness.

“The LORD be magnified!”
Since I am afflicted and needy,
Let the Lord be mindful of me.
You are my help and my deliverer;
Do not delay, O my God. 

How much has the Church of Jesus missed?  Most of Christianity today would read these words and nod in agreement.  This is how Christians live today but we don't see anything like this kind of attitude within the First Century Church!   We do we struggle so much?  Let's go back to the what the psalmist had stored away in his heart.  The Law always brings death; grace always brings life!  If we are living like we are dying what do you suspect resides within our hearts today?

Scripture says that "we are more than conquerors in Christ Jesus"!

Isn't it time you exchanged the contents in your heart?  Live the life that Jesus died to give you!

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